University bosses put on the alert over Ebola virus

WARNING: Bosses at Bradford University have been put on the alert about the Ebola virus crisis in West Africa

WARNING: Bosses at Bradford University have been put on the alert about the Ebola virus crisis in West Africa

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

BOSSES at Bradford University have been issued with warnings over any potential threat of the Ebola virus to its students ahead of the new term which starts next month.

Universities UK, the group which represents the heads of all UK universities, has contacted all universities, including Bradford, with the publicly available guidance on Ebola.

Ebola is spread by contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, such as sweat and blood, and no cure or vaccine is currently available.

The three countries which have seen the largest number of Ebola cases are Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

But aid agencies and Governments across West Africa are scaling up efforts to try to curb the outbreak.

A total of 1,145 deaths due to the virus have been recorded by the World Health Organisation. The first case was registered in Guinea in March this year.

The symptoms of Ebola include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage.

Official Government advice from the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) at Public Health England (PHE) ranks the outbreak as low risk but potentially high consequence.

The ACDP has produced specialist guidance which includes information on how patients suspected of being infected with a Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) should be comprehensively assessed, rapidly diagnosed and safely managed within the NHS, to ensure the protection of public health.

Now, ahead of the new academic year which starts in September, Bradford University said it is "closely monitoring" the Ebola outbreak.

Its spokesman said: “The Ebola outbreak in West African countries and its potential impact is being closely monitored by the University.”

Universities UK said it will remain in close contact with Government officials on this issue and will forward further updates if and when appropriate.

A spokesman for Universities UK said: “Universities take the welfare of all their students and staff very seriously.

"From contact we have had over the course of this week we know many are closely monitoring the situation with regard to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and any impact this may have on their institution.

“Universities UK has been, and will remain, in close contact with Government officials and public health agencies on this issue to ensure we can advise and support our members.

"We are also working closely with other organisations to ensure the appropriate advice reaches relevant individuals within student services and university administration.”

Meanwhile,Ebola prevention efforts in Sierra Leone have been given a £28,000 boost.

Global real estate services and investment firm CBRE has donated the money to children's charity Plan International, which is working on the ground to stop the spread of the deadly disease.

According to the charity, there have been almost 700 confirmed Ebola cases in Sierra Leone with at least 254 deaths.

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